A toy, just a toy. An illusion for the eyes of a child, a figure destined to last the time of a smile. But is there anything, in this absurdly serious society, in all its uselessness, that is worth more than a happy child?
Stefano’s new life began this way, with the softness of a game. A wooden model of a truck that ended up almost accidentally under the ecstatic eyes of his nephews , Tommaso, Rachele, and Valentina Chantal. And then you discover that those who smile, and are naturally surprised, are most of all adults, that invariably meet the “little child” that every person over 20 carries in their heart.
So there, the constant effort to extract beauty from every aspect of life, working hard on shapes, corners, patches and perspectives. The final product is in the creator’s eyes and mind, but it hides, bridled, in the mass of matter, gripping to indefinite, almost as if it were obligatory to not be revealed to the world of the profane.
Stefano and his band, at this point, close ranks, turn into one, enter the tangle, and gaze beyond, only they know where they can design and at the same time create, mould, build, structure. From that magma, at last, from the void the object is released, the clever idea, the specialty, the exciting detail, the new point of view, in other words: beauty. That every time is confirmed such because it is born from the mysterious combination that, like a wise voltaic arch, unites the mind and hands of a craftsman: the two pivotal elements in any creation.
There is, inevitably, a craftsmanship’s story behind that mind and those hands, Stefano’s; there was –enclosed in tufa stone – a workshop with products for nobles and plebeians, popes and presidents; there is a memory of a man, the great ironsmith Marcello Conticelli, from whom the grandson learned, years ago, the key to access the alchemic arcane of this trade.
The craftsman observes the present beyond the limiting line of horizon: few certainties, the first is that every form is mouldable; and thousands of goals, his own infinite creations. Its been like that for centuries: the history of man has taken steps forward through the strokes of hammers, planes, cutters… The making has always dominated the present time with the absolute logic of what is tangible.
From a green land, the magical Umbria, Stefano Conticelli, with his pleasure for work and work for pleasure, diffuses everyday in the world an extraordinarily modern concept, although revolutionary if compared with the ruling era of image: hands still count and the idea remains a personal and collective good: from hands moved by the idea, the creation is born. That is to say, something that exists beyond concepts, suppositions, suspects and conjectures.
Stefano “photographs” beauty, he certainly sees it before any of us common human beings. And the same thing happened for Marcello, same blood, same conscience. Elected souls, and generous ones, because they then hand us that beauty over with a smile. Beauty has always come along with effort, sure, but in the end, in their heart, what is worth more is being able to see someone else’s enjoyment. Because Stefano’s objects make our life seem more pleasant, offering us a childhood instant in this world of storm.
by Roberto Conticelli, my dear cousin